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  • OT: I need a chainsaw

    OK - I need a chainsaw. Something small for home use, I'm not cutting down anything bigger than about a 6 or 8 inch tree, so I'm thinking a 14" saw will foot the bill. I don't really want to spend more than $200, but $250 will be ok if it's worth it.

    I only want to buy one chainsaw, like ever. I believe in buying a better tool up front to prevent the headache in the rear. It will see limited use, generally once around spring and once around fall for a few hours each.

    Currently, I'm leaning towards the Echo 14" at Home Depot for $199. I have a lot of Echo equipment and none of it has ever let me down, but I understand that chainsaws are a different beast....

    What do you guys recommend? Oh - I do prefer gas.
    DARPA Jr - 2015 InDIYana Winner - RS180-8 + RS100P-8 + ND25FA
    The Aria's - RS150-4 (or RS150-8) + XT25SC90
    The Mariposa's - TEBM65C20F-8 + ND16FA
    The Canzonetta's - RS100P-8 and ND16FA
    AudioSource AMP-100 Mods OR Pyle PAMP1000 Mods

  • #2
    Re: OT: I need a chainsaw

    Originally posted by tyger23 View Post
    OK - I need a chainsaw. Something small for home use, I'm not cutting down anything bigger than about a 6 or 8 inch tree, so I'm thinking a 14" saw will foot the bill. I don't really want to spend more than $200, but $250 will be ok if it's worth it.

    I only want to buy one chainsaw, like ever. I believe in buying a better tool up front to prevent the headache in the rear. It will see limited use, generally once around spring and once around fall for a few hours each.

    Currently, I'm leaning towards the Echo 14" at Home Depot for $199. I have a lot of Echo equipment and none of it has ever let me down, but I understand that chainsaws are a different beast....

    What do you guys recommend? Oh - I do prefer gas.
    I have watched a movie about a man and a chainsaw in Texas, it did not turn out well. just something to think about.
    craigk

    " Voicing is often the term used for band aids to cover for initial design/planning errors " - Pallas

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    • #3
      Re: OT: I need a chainsaw

      Originally posted by craigk View Post
      I have watched a movie about a man and a chainsaw in Texas, it did not turn out well. just something to think about.
      And according to the title of the movie, the chainsaw didn't make it....
      I wouldn't use the brand that the movie did for that reason.
      LOL,
      Wolf
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      • #4
        Re: OT: I need a chainsaw

        I have one of these and use it on the farm all the time and for light to medium work you can't go wrong. Husqvarna I believe is one of the best but you pay for it too! This seller is selling Re-mans and that's why there so cheap. I have used them a lot and have never had any problems..
        ‘There are none so blind as those who will not see.’

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        • #5
          Re: OT: I need a chainsaw

          Husqvarna, Stihl, Jonsered if you want a nice saw. Whatever has local support. I bought my Jonsered at the local Ace Hardware. The guy spent two hours showing me how not to lose any body parts.

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          • #6
            Re: OT: I need a chainsaw

            One thing about chain saws is they can be temperamental and you should know how to adjust the fuel mixture in order to have a trouble free life. You get that figured out and use good oil and gas and you shouldn't have a problem.
            ‘There are none so blind as those who will not see.’

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            • #7
              Re: OT: I need a chainsaw

              i live in the middle and heart of suburbia. Most would think I would not really need a chainsaw. Well that could not be further from the truth. Whether it is the annual trimming of trees (front and back yard) my neighbor calling asking me what I think about the branch over his drive way or quick cutting of a 2x4. Super useful and you are thankful you have it when you need it.

              I am with you and believe in buying a better tool. I only want to buy one lawn mower (last one gave me 23 solid years - Honda), one trimmer and one chainsaw. That being said, I am have a Stihl MS250. It came with a 16" bar, but it was changed out to an 18" I would reco a 16" to 18" bar. I keep it in it's case and I use is a few times each year. Starts on the second or third pull and is always ready to go.

              I would also recommend never run pump gas with oil mix. Get the premix gas in the can (50:1) at Home Depot. No ethanol and 92+ octane. Ethanol beats up on 2-cycle engines. I get my trimmer string and bar oil at McCoys on Research. They have a great selection of Stihl products and are very helpful. They have a good range of saws and prices.

              The Echo you are referring to is also a good unit. I prefer Echo for my trimmer products and Stihl for my. What ever you do stay away from the Husky's.

              --------

              To add, I have been using a chainsaws since I was 12. My dad would hand me a 12" bar McCulloch and tell me "I need a lane 20 yards wide and 80 deep". We were cutting lanes for deer feeders. Cutting lanes translated into cutting up the felled trees into firewood for the next winter. Over the decades we used Husqvarna, Echo, McCulloch and Stihl. The only saws that lasted and were trouble free to operate had Stihl logos on them. I just replaced my Husqvarna blower and trimmer after only 4 years as both just would not run anymore. They were replaced with Echo products. The Husky chainsaws, trimmer and blowers I have used have always been temperamental. I like easy, not temperamental

              When Hurricane Ike hit the Houston area in 08' my in-laws came up here to avoid the storm - they live in Lake Jackson. Before heading back we got a report that we would be unable to enter their property as their 1/8 mile driveway and the rest of the pasture and around their house was covered with downed trees. It was late on a Saturday and we were headed back on Sunday to survey the damage. We found a dealer in Georgetown that was about to close and when we told them our predicament they stayed open till we go there. this is where my MS250 came from. My father-in-law had a Stihl (he refuses to any other brand) in the barn and between the two of us we figured we could handle it.

              We pulled up to the entrance of drive way and all 1/8 mile was covered. We cut our way through to the house and over the next few days cleared their property and help others that did not have the tools. That saw ran for 3-1/2 days 12-14 hours straight and never once failed. It holds that same track record to this day, 7 years later. i will have this saw for a very long time and if I had to replace it, it would would be another Stihl.
              Last edited by Gordy; 03-22-2015, 05:22 PM. Reason: Adding Experience
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              • #8
                Re: OT: I need a chainsaw

                The key to your purchase is local service - buy it from somewhere that offers known, great, service. Chainsaws break. Oil, spark plugs, filters, chain sharpening, all basic service yet all vitally important in extending the life of your saw. We used a Stihl for about 15 years and it's the only brand that seems to have universal approval. But the key is finding the guy that can help you get the right saw and can take care of it with you.

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                • #9
                  Re: OT: I need a chainsaw

                  OK - so I'm gonna go look at the Stihl's. Looks like the MS170 with a 16" bar fits my price range and needs nicely. There's a MS180 with a free case right now, but it's about $100 more...

                  My only issue is the "local service" thing. Gordy, I'm glad you have OK dealings with McCoy's up on research, but I've had nothing but rudeness and attitude out of the guys down on south congress. The last time I went in there, it was simply to refill my propane tank and I swore I'd never go back. I've been buying Echo from home depot because I can do all my own work and I just don't want to have to deal with finding a good place. The Echo stuff has been flawless.

                  I may try the Travis Tractor and Lawn on south congress. They're a listed Stihl dealer and I've never dealt with them before - so I've got no bad impressions ;).

                  I made it thru my spring cleanup day today with a drop cord and a few 6TPI saber saw blades, but I can't keep that up ;). If I do I'm likely to loose a body part. :eek:

                  On the plus side, I'm typing this while listening to my one complete InDIYana speaker.
                  DARPA Jr - 2015 InDIYana Winner - RS180-8 + RS100P-8 + ND25FA
                  The Aria's - RS150-4 (or RS150-8) + XT25SC90
                  The Mariposa's - TEBM65C20F-8 + ND16FA
                  The Canzonetta's - RS100P-8 and ND16FA
                  AudioSource AMP-100 Mods OR Pyle PAMP1000 Mods

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                  • #10
                    Re: OT: I need a chainsaw

                    I have never had a bad experience with any of the big name chain saw's and would not hesitate to buy another husky. Chain saws are like cars some like ford some like chevy... Find a dealer that you like and will help you get parts when you need it; i think that will be the deciding factor in what brand suits you best.
                    Also dont forget the safety gear! Table saws take fingers chain saws take legs.

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                    • #11
                      Re: OT: I need a chainsaw

                      The Stihl/Husqvarna debate is epic. As Ken mentioned above, it definitely seems like a Ford/Chevy war. I have heard a lot of experienced people say they both make good saws.

                      Growing up my dad had a Stihl and I always assumed I would get one if I ever needed a serious saw. I bought an off brand (I think Ryobi?) 'toy' saw maybe 10 years ago for small work and it didn't last more than about 2 years with occasional use. Before I had a chance to shop for a new saw my wife surprised me with a Husqvarna 455 Rancher. It has done a lot for me, including my ridiculous project below. My understanding is that the "Rancher" series is between a homeowner's saw and a pro saw. Unfortunately it's about double your budget :(. I'm not sure what the quality of their $200-250 saws are.

                      From what I recall the only place I could get any Husqvarna parts locally was Lowes (none at HD). But usually I just order online anyway.

                      The only experience I have with Echo is my leaf blower - that thing is a great

                      Good luck with your purchase.

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeXiq69M43A

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                      • #12
                        Re: OT: I need a chainsaw

                        Originally posted by tyger23 View Post
                        OK - so I'm gonna go look at the Stihl's. Looks like the MS170 with a 16" bar fits my price range and needs nicely. There's a MS180 with a free case right now, but it's about $100 more...
                        .
                        Gota worn you, STIHL makes a very good saw and for light duty stuff it should be OK but there home owner grade saws including the MS170 are definitely not the saw they used to be. They have all the gizmos and are very smooth. There smaller saws are made cheaply but then a lot of brands are today, and the STIHL has a VERY small motor to bar length. I hate saying this cause I have been a life long STIHL and Husky fan and worked on a fleet of them along with there gas powered cut-off saws.
                        You can have problems with any saw but if you want a "well made" quality product you need to look at a better grade (farm-ranch) or(professional) and not the (home owner) grade. The market is flooded with very poorly made (home owner) grade saws and that includes STIHL and most of the major brands. So if your going to buy a cheaply made saw might as well go with a appropriately priced saw. I not saying by any means that that saw won't give you good service for your needs but don't let anyone hood wink you cause they like one brand over another, its the way of the world, companies need to compete and things have to cut in order to make a buck.
                        The main thing is going to be service and support, unless your good mechanically.
                        Don't get me wrong, I am not saying not to buy one over the other or that model STIHL is bad I am just shedding some light on the way they are made and that you can get good service if used in the right places. Today's saw market have a lot better saws than in the past BUT most brands cut cost in there lower grade offerings but still have a very great product in there top of the line offerings and that some HOME OWNER lines are way over priced for the quality and are just relying on there name to sell there product!
                        ‘There are none so blind as those who will not see.’

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                        • #13
                          Re: OT: I need a chainsaw

                          Originally posted by tyger23 View Post
                          OK - I need a chainsaw. Something small for home use, I'm not cutting down anything bigger than about a 6 or 8 inch tree, so I'm thinking a 14" saw will foot the bill. ...
                          I bought a used Sthil in the early 80's and a new Stihl to replace it.
                          It finally wore out last year. haven't bought a replacement yet, but would get either another Sthil or Husky.
                          16" bar and I cut stuff larger than 6 - 8 tree.
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                          • #14
                            Re: OT: I need a chainsaw

                            I have a bigger Stihl Chainsaw, don't remember the model, it's a phenomenal saw. I've used it for everything from trees to demolition and aside from smoking a few chains, it's taken every inch of what I threw at it (including dropping a large oak on it once), I think it's about 7 or 8 years old now. I wouldn't hesitate to buy a Husqvarna either, my neighbor has a Husky saw, I've used his too and it performs great. I went cheap and tried the Poulan route before the Stihl, don't recommend it, they're disposable IMO. I highly recommend having at least 2 chains on hand, that way you always have one sharp one on the saw. The chain makes the biggest difference in how the saw cuts, and even when they're freshly resharpened, they never cut as good as they did when they were new ;)
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                            • #15
                              Re: OT: I need a chainsaw

                              Originally posted by tyger23 View Post
                              What do you guys recommend? Oh - I do prefer gas.
                              I bought a reconditioned Husqvarna 445 (18") for about $220. I got it from Eastern truck, but a lot of places sell the recon saws at nice prices. It's a good saw, and everyone who uses likes it. But before that we had bought a Worx 14" electric saw. For light duty around the house, the Worx does surprisingly well, and it's 1/3 the price. And we've also got a 10" Ryobi 18V pole saw. It's very useful for spring cleanup and will chomp through limbs that are up to 6". It's nice having a "real" chain saw for when you need it, but for light duty there are some lower cost alternatives.
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